Flexible Working: Made easier with flexible technology
Remote working, home working, flexible working, or whatever terminology you choose to use, is one of those hotly debated topics which often sees an organization divided as to what is the best policy to employ for its workforce. As I see it there are two sides to this debate. There is the HR angle of allowing workers to work remotely, or work from home, and then there is the IT side to the story, and how IT can maintain security and compliance when users are working outside of their control.
There is also a third side to this story, and that’s the users just doing what the users want to do, regardless of HR, and regardless of IT. I used to describe this as “users are revolting”, and no, I don’t mean they are mounting the next French revolution.! I mean they are challenging the authority of HR and IT. Like it or not, users today have become more ‘IT savvy’ thanks to the proliferation of Smartphones and tablets, where a user can choose their own device, that suits their individual requirements, and then install all kinds of apps from a store. Apps that again suit the needs of the end user. It’s become known as the consumerization of IT, as IT is now more readily available to everyone, thanks in part to the Internet.
It’s all about the applications
About those apps. End users choose them because they better suit the way in which they want to work. It’s often referred to as “Shadow IT”. It could simply be an end user who just emails items from their corporate email to their own, personal email account, so that they can continue working on documents when they get home. Or I have even seen it where an entire department deploys some form of SaaS-based application to perform a specific task, and the IT department have absolutely no clue it’s even happened!
The reason this happens is often caused because of the IT department, who typically have two responses to this behaviour, both at either end of the spectrum. The first reaction is that they block absolutely everything, and lock down the users so much that they can’t even sneeze without IT being involved. The second is where the IT department just bury their heads in the sand, through no fault of their own, and pretend it’s not happening rather than embracing remote working and becoming enablers rather than blockers.
When you look at it, remote working is not as new as you may think. Organizations have always potentially had some form of field-based work force such as travelling sales reps, or engineers that travel across towns, cities, and even countries. It’s just now these users have greater expectations from their IT systems to help them get the job done more efficiently and customers have greater expectations and indeed legal rights when it comes to data about them.
Why would you consider home or remote working?
So why is remote or home working still such a hot topic? In a Powwownow 2017 report, 67% of employees wish that they were offered flexible working policies, with 58% stating that having such a policy would help them become more motivated . In the same report 70% of people stated that a company with a flexible working policy would make that job more attractive to them. Something organizations should bear in mind when trying to recruit and attract new talent, and to stay ahead of their competitors.
I myself have been a home/mobile worker for more than ten years now, and I can easily identify with the key reasons why this style of working is far more productive, and having worked from the office from time to time during that period, I can honestly say I get far more done at home. No adhoc meetings at the coffee machine, and no distractions. It also saves the stress of traveling through the rush hour twice a day, and all the costs associated in doing that. Overall, it’s a much better work life balance. Some of the reasons why I have embraced this style of working are included in top 10 lists published by TechRepublic , and REMOTE.CO .
How ThinScale delivers secure remote and home working
How can ThinScale help with remote and home working, and become an enabler to both end usersand the IT teams, and overcome some of the issues?
In ThinKiosk 5.1 PC to thin client conversion solution, ThinScale have introduced a feature called Secure Remote Worker. ThinKiosk is essentially a Windows application that runs on my Windows device, which then allows me to switch between a secure workspace environment, which offers me all my corporate connection options via an intuitive interface, and my own local PC environment. This secure workspace is managed centrally by IT, allowing them to set policy and ensure I meet the requirements for connecting to the corporate environment.
When it comes to security, IT can be assured that while I am in the secure workspace, I have no access to my underlying PC, which means I can’t copy or paste information between the two. As I have my own Windows laptop, it also means I don’t have to hand over the management of my device to the IT team to control where they would potentially deploy some form of mobile device management solution. They just control the secure workspace, nothing more, nothing less.
In summary, ThinScale’s ThinKiosk, coupled with the Secure Remote Worker feature is an enabler for remote and home working, answering those security questions that IT have when considering this type of working policy. As for the HR policies and questions, well I’ll pass on those!
The ThinScale Team